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AFDC Benefits and Nonmarital Births to Young Women

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  • Saul D. Hoffman
  • E. Michael Foster

Abstract

Building on recent work by Rosenzweig (1999), this paper re-examines the effect of AFDC benefits on early nonmarital childbearing. Unlike most previous work in this area, Rosenzweig finds a statistically significant and quantitatively large positive effect of AFDC benefits. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we replicate Rosenzweig=s analysis and explore the reasons his findings differ from earlier research findings. We are able to reproduce his main finding that AFDC generosity influences non-marital childbearing when state and cohort fixed-effects are included. However, we find that model specification matters a great deal. An alternative specification of state fixed-effects yields no evidence of an AFDC effect, and when we focus on fertility only through age 19 (as in prior work), we also find no AFDC effect. This latter finding implies that the behavior of women in their early 20s may be far more sensitive to welfare generosity than is that of teenagers.

Suggested Citation

  • Saul D. Hoffman & E. Michael Foster, 1997. "AFDC Benefits and Nonmarital Births to Young Women," JCPR Working Papers 3, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Greg Duncan & Saul Hoffman, 1990. "Welfare benefits, economic opportunities, and out-of-wedlock births among black teenage girls," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 27(4), pages 519-535, November.
    7. Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. DAVID M. BLAU & WILBERT van der KLAAUW, 2013. "What Determines Family Structure?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 579-604, January.
    2. Chien-Chung Huang, 2001. "The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Nonmarital and Marital Births: Does It Differ by Racial and Age Groups?," JCPR Working Papers 246, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    3. Susan E Mayer, 2000. "Why Welfare Caseloads Fluctuate: A Review of Research on AFDC, SSI, and the Food Stamps Program," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/07, New Zealand Treasury.
    4. Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
    5. Thomas DeLeire & Leonard Lopoo & Kosali Simon, 2011. "Medicaid Expansions and Fertility in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 725-747, May.
    6. Martin D. Dooley, 1999. "The Evolution of Welfare Participation Among Canadian Lone Mothers From 1973-1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(3), pages 589-612, May.
    7. Michael S. Rendall & Olivia Ekert-Jaffé & Heather Joshi & Kevin Lynch & Rémi Mougin, 2009. "Universal versus Economically Polarized Change in Age at First Birth: A French-British Comparison," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(1), pages 89-115.
    8. Moffitt, Robert A. & Phelan, Brian J. & Winkler, Anne E., 2015. "Welfare Rules, Incentives, and Family Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 9127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Oscar A. Mitnik, 2007. "Intergenerational transmission of welfare dependency: The effects of length of exposure," Working Papers 0715, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    10. Kathryn Edin, 1999. "What Do Low-Income Single Mothers Say About Marriage?," JCPR Working Papers 100, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    11. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2004. "Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior?: A Look at the Family Cap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    12. Wolfe, Barbara & Wilson, Kathryn & Haveman, Robert, 2001. "The role of economic incentives in teenage nonmarital childbearing choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 473-511, September.
    13. Robert Cherry & Chun Wang, 2015. "Labor Market Conditions and US Teen Birth Rates, 2001–2009," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 408-420, September.
    14. Laura Argys & Brian Duncan, 2013. "Economic Incentives and Foster Child Adoption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 933-954, June.
    15. Joseph Sabia, 2008. "Blacks and the family cap: pregnancy, abortion, and spillovers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 111-134, January.
    16. R. Haveman & B. Wolfe & K. Wilson & E. Peterson, "undated". "Do Teens Make Rational Choices? The Case of Teen Nonmarital Childbearing," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1137-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    17. John M. Fitzgerald & David Ribar, 2001. "The Impact of Welfare Waivers on Female Headship Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 247, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    18. Xiaoling Ang, 2015. "The Effects of Cash Transfer Fertility Incentives and Parental Leave Benefits on Fertility and Labor Supply: Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 263-288, June.
    19. Arnstein Aassve, 2003. "The impact of economic resources on premarital childbearing and subsequent marriage among young American women," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 105-126, February.
    20. Arnstein Aassve, 2000. "Economic resources and single motherhood: incidence and resolution of premarital childbearing among young American women," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-015, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    21. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Radha Jagannathan & Michael J. Camasso & Mark Killingsworth, 2004. "New Jersey's Family Cap Experiment: Do Fertility Impacts Differ by Racial Density?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 431-460, April.
    23. repec:msl:workng:1008 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Jagannathan, Radha & Camasso, Michael J., 2011. "Message and price components of Family Caps: Experimental evidence from New Jersey," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 292-302, August.
    25. Derek Neal, 2001. "The Economics of Family Structure," NBER Working Papers 8519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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